Many of our customers come to us with little or no
experience in the field of embedded programming. We understand that
it can be daunting to try and decide which products are needed to get
started. This page gives a general overview of the product families that
are used during the development and prototyping process.
These products can be purchased in
bundles that include everything you need to learn embedded programming on
the PICmicro®. Our bundles are - by far - the easiest way to get started.
We offer compilers that turn your BASIC programs into machine language
that the PICmicro MCU can use. The PICBASIC™ and PICBASIC PRO™
compilers understand the English-like BASIC syntax. You don't have
to learn C, Assembler, or any other cryptic language.
The compiler software is compatible with Windows as well as DOS, and
includes a Windows interface that allows you to write code, compile, and
launch a device programmer from one user-friendly application.
PICBASIC is simple. Most technical people have programmed in some form
of BASIC. PICBASIC uses the familiar constructs like Goto, Gosub, If..Then,
and For..Next to accomplish tasks on the microcontroller. In addition,
there are specialized commands for different I/O schemes that are specific
to the MCU. Some examples are: SERIN/SEROUT for RS-232 communications,
ADCIN for reading analog voltages, and HIGH/LOW/TOGGLE for controlling
individual output pins.
Once your code is compiled, you have to get it to the microcontroller.
Our programmers do the job simply and efficiently. The Windows software
allows you to configure the device options using simple menus and mouse
selections. Adapters are available for a wide variety of package styles,
and the programmer can connect to your project board for convenient
After your PICmicro microcontroller is programmed, you need a place to
One of our most popular product lines is the LAB-X Experimenter
Boards. We've designed a series of pre-assembled hardware platforms to
accommodate different sizes of microcontroller. These boards allow you to
test your software without having to question your hardware. We've already
tested the circuitry, and we supply sample programs that can be used to
verify its operation.
These boards come with a variety of components. LCD modules for
display, RS-232 serial ports, keypads, speakers, switches, LED indicators,
and analog controls are all available. Each has a small prototyping area
that allows custom hardware to be added. Each has a pre-wired connector
for in-circuit programming using one of our programmers. Each comes with full
documentation, including a schematic.
Once you're satisfied that your project works, you'll need to build
prototypes. We make that easy, too. Our PICPROTO™ Prototyping Boards
allow you to easily place the circuitry that you need on a printed circuit
board. Choose the PICPROTO board that accommodates your microcontroller.
The basic circuitry to power and clock the microcontroller are already
packed on the board, leaving a generous area of plated-thru holes for your
custom circuitry. Most PICPROTO boards have hole patterns for common
connectors and headers as well.